Tyler Glasnow: “Would Much Prefer” Not To Be Traded

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Tyler Glasnow is among the higher-profile trade candidates around the league. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last August and will miss at least the bulk of the 2022 campaign. Projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for a $5.8MM arbitration salary in his second-to-last year of club control, Glasnow could find himself on the move after the lockout. It’s possible the low-payroll Rays would prefer to reallocate those funds to more immediate help as they try for a third straight division title.

If Glasnow had his way, though, he’d stick in Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old chatted with Chris Rose of Jomboy Media during a recent episode of The Chris Rose Rotation (video link on YouTube). Asked whether he’d remain a member of the Rays, Glasnow noted some uncertainty but flatly stated that’d be his preference.

Your guess is as good as mine,” he replied.”I hope. I really, really hope. I didn’t get traded before the lockout, so that’s a good sign. … I think if somebody were to call the Rays and give them a really awesome deal or something, (president of baseball operations Erik Neander) is not going to be like ’no.’ He has to listen to everything. That’s just how being a GM is.

But we have a really good relationship. Time will tell, but I would much prefer to stay a Ray. It would be nice to watch everyone in the beginning of the season and how good the team is and how young everyone is and then try to weave my back in and contribute.

As Glasnow implied, it seems there’s a chance he’ll make it back to the mound late during the upcoming season. The Southern California native suggested he’s soon to begin throwing from 45 feet, the first time since going under the knife that he’ll pick up a ball. Glasnow noted there’s sure to be some variability in recovering from such a significant procedure and pointed to the many hurdles still in front of him, adding that he’s taking his rehab “day-by-day, week-by-week.” Yet he also suggested he has progressed as planned to this point and didn’t rule out the possibility of returning in August or September.

If the Rays do hold onto Glasnow, it’d be a huge boon for the club if he could make a late-season return. Over 14 starts last year, he worked 88 innings of 2.66 ERA/2.92 SIERA ball. The 6’8″ hurler punched out a massive 36.2% of batters faced against a solid 7.9% walk percentage. Glasnow has still yet to exceed 111 2/3 frames during an MLB season, but his rate production since the start of 2019 has been elite. Over the past three years, 156 hurlers have worked at least 150 innings as a starting pitcher. Glasnow ranks fifth among that group in ERA (2.80) and FIP (2.87) and sixth in strikeout/walk rate differential (28.1 percentage points).

If Glasnow can hit the ground running late in the season — even if he’s forced to work in shorter stints — that’d be an impact boost for the Rays (or a potential acquiring team) if they remain in the thick of the playoff race. Even if the club has fallen out of contention by that point, getting Glasnow some innings so he can enter the 2023 season with fewer question marks would be welcome. It remains to be seen whether a late-season comeback will be viable, but it’s encouraging to hear it currently remains a possibility.

Glasnow and Rose go on to speak about the Rays’ stadium situation, including the organization’s since-killed plans to split seasons between Tampa Bay and Montreal. They also address the ongoing lockout and the pitcher’s day-to-day routine during his rehab process among a wide-ranging conversation. Rays fans, in particular, will want to check out the interview in full.

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